Don’t be afraid to say no

February 9, 2012

Public relations

A yes man (or woman) gets a pat on the back. But saying no gets you respect (Image credit:


Don’t be afraid to say no

To a deadline that doesn’t make sense. To a project you don’t have time to take on. To an idea when someone asks you if it’s valid.

Being a yes man — or a yes woman — doesn’t earn you any respect. It just shows you can be a doer. Saying no when it makes sense shows you want to do the best work possible and won’t sacrifice quality to make everyone happy or meet a deadline.

Be a no man — or a no woman — every now and then. The most valuable conversation can come after you say no, when you explain why not.

Don’t be afraid to ask why

When a campaign doesn’t make sense to you…because then it probably won’t make sense to the customer. After all, you actually know a thing or two about the company. Customers don’t.

When a process has always been done a certain way. When you think there’s a new way to accomplish the same goal that your team may not be aware of.

Every company needs people who can take on any task and complete it at any time. But me…I’ll take the people who after I tell them I need something done, ask me why. Or ask me if I’ve ever thought of doing it another way.

Companies made up of people who are afraid to ask why are afraid to change. Which usually means they’re afraid to succeed. Companies that embrace those who ask why embrace innovation, evolution and most importantly, avoid apathy.

Don’t be afraid to ask a stupid question

When everyone in a meeting is acting like you should know the answer, but you don’t. Have you ever actually asked a question in that type of situation? What happens? In my experience, about three or four other people piggyback with the same question. They just didn’t want to ask it.

When you don’t recognize a buzzword. When you aren’t sure of the problem you’re trying to solve or what you’re company is trying to get the customer to do.

You know what’s really stupid? Not asking a stupid question. Think of a campaign with horrendous usability. Now think of one a brand launched that was completely out of touch with its core customer. I guarantee you both had one thing in common — everyone was afraid to ask a stupid question.

“Stupid” questions lead to smart campaigns. At least that’s been my experience. What’s your’s been?

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Nikki Little 61 pts

Learning to say no is something I've been working on for awhile. I haven't quite perfected it yet, but it feels good now when I say "no" and know that it was the right decision, even if it was hard to say.

Start living by the Derek Sivers mantra - It's either "hell yeah!", or no ( It really helps when it comes to decision making time. If it doesn't get the fire burning and make you crazy excited, say no.

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sunsetinmyveins good luck! It's so hard


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